Red Sox owner John Henry nailed part of his lengthy message to Red Sox fans Monday, explaining the thinking behind the Mookie Betts trade last week.
"I understand that I can probably say little today that will change your mind, but it is my responsibility to try." Henry wrote in a statement posted on the team's Twitter account.
It seems that he hasn't changed many opinions.
Henry went on to explain how, even for one of the baseball-spending teams, it was just too risky to lose Betts in the free agency and get nothing for it in the next off-season (other than a compensation plan).
"The baseball organizations we compete against have become much more strategic and thoughtful about how and where they use their resources to find titles," said Henry. “We cannot shy away from difficult decisions that are required to fight aggressively for the World Series. That led to this trade. "
However, Henry may have lost Red Sox fans even before he got there. The 70-year-old tried to connect Betts, who went to the Dodgers, with the trade of the Nomar Garciaparra team with the Cubs before the close of trading in 2004. This seemed disingenuous to Red Sox fans, since Betts and Garciaparra were there careers at the time of the move.
The 27-year-old Betts is one season away from the American League MVP and leads the Red Sox to a World Series. Garciaparra, although a fan favorite in Boston, had just turned 31 at the time of the trade and was recovering from an Achilles injury that had severely restricted his shortstop range.
"Some of you undoubtedly felt the same way in 2004 when we traded Nomar, who like Mookie was a hugely popular local player," wrote Henry. “We all in the organization hoped that we could avoid ever having to go through something like a hat again. But most clubs face similar dilemmas from time to time. "
Any ongoing anger about Red Sox management quickly resolved when the Red Sox won the World Series this year, the first franchise championship in 86 years.
"That was a range. Nomar was 30 years old, was not yet one of the top 5 players in the game and had clearly agreed on Boston. " Peter Abraham from the Globe wrote.
"Comparing a broken 2004 Nomar with a 2020 Mookie is a GTFO of all time." Wrestler Bill Simmons wrote.
Red Sox winning this year's World Series could be the only way for Henry to get Red Sox fans to forget this controversial Betts deal.